My Makeover, Video Shoot, and Photo Shoot For InStyle Magazine

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

Back in August, I had the incredible opportunity to get an amazing makeover at The Salon by InStyle Inside JCPenney!

The PR agency branch of Meredith Corporation, the media and marketing services company that owns InStyle, reached out to me. I have no idea how they found me! I’m pretty sure some Googling was involved, and the words “empty nest” or “empty nester” were probably put into the search engine! ????

My rep at Meredith coordinated everything. First up, I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), which meant that, beyond the obvious, there wasn’t much I could share with you at the time.

Next, there were lots of back and forth emails about what I was willing to do hair-wise. Honestly, it was a dramatic, exciting, and somewhat emotional decision for me! As an empty nester, I’ve really worked to be courageous and brave. I’ve learned so much, built a business, and I work hard to stay current and keep learning and growing.

But I had really stayed in the safety zone with my hair! I hadn’t really changed it in years. I was officially in a hair rut. But I gathered my courage, decided that opportunities like this don’t come around every day, and decided to go for it.

My dad is a redhead. (Well, now he’s a silver fox, but his hair was red when he was younger!) I’ve got his warm complexion, and have always had tones of copper in my hair. So I decided it would be fun to go red!

Next came a video shoot in my home. Thanks to the COVID, it was very different than the way they usually do them, with a big film crew, lights, camera, action, and the whole bit!

Instead, a film crew brought over sterilized equipment. You won’t believe this, but I shot the video myself (!) on one (very tricked out) iPhone, while FaceTiming on another iPhone with the director, who was in California! ???? She interviewed me and guided me as we shot. We talked about what life as an empty nester is like, what my relationship is with my hair, and what my hair goals were at this point in my life.

woman in gray top and black leggings sitting in a chair doing an interview over an iphone

The next day, the shoot continued! My call time (that’s fancy movie star talk ????) was 5 a.m. at the Salon by InStyle inside the JC Penney store at Stonebriar Mall in Frisco (a suburb of Dallas).

Dilek Onur Taylor, the Creative Director at The Salon by Instyle gave me an amazing new look and encouraged me every step of the way! She shared advice on color choices, product recommendations, and styling tips so I could recreate my look at home.

hair stylist point to clients hair

Of course, I peppered her with questions! She shared so many great tips!

Here’s just some of what she told me:

  • The Shag is the latest haircut. She said everyone is asking for it right now, and there’s a version for every age, face shape, and preference. She told me to grow out the top of my hair for two months so I could sport the “Sporty Shag.” (Think Lisa Rinna’s haircut.)
  • Every hairstyle should have at least three distinct ways to wear it. If not, you need a new haircut.
  • Women over 50, for various reasons, are probably dealing with dry hair. You need to use a hydrating shampoo that is color-protecting. She recommended Matrix Biolage Ultra Hydra Source Shampoo and Ultra Hydra Source Conditioner, which is what they used on me in the salon.
  • When you dry your hair, do it on high airspeed and a medium heat setting about 80% of the way dry. Only then should you add heat and start styling. When you do start, style from roots to tips for maximum volume.
  • If you use Rogaine (like I do) to help with thinning hair, know that it changes the texture of your hair and makes it drier. This can affect the way your hair takes color, so be sure to let your stylist know.
  • Use your hands to emulsify any products before putting them on your hair.
  • If you color your hair, you must use a color protector with UV protection. She recommended Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Color Velvetizer for me, which you’ll see in the video.
  • For my finish out, she recommended Matrix Texture Builder Messy Finish Spray. (Recently renamed: Matrix Style Link Style Fixer Finishing Hairspray | Volumizing & Texturizing.)

After the makeover, we headed to a photoshoot, where I got the full wardrobe, styling, and makeup treatment! They shot the images for the print ads, which are currently running in the November issue of InStyle magazine. (Look for the foldout just inside the back cover.)

woman getting makeup done at photo shoot
woman getting makeup and styling at photo shoot

After the photoshoot, we shot the very end of the video, which I’m so thrilled to share with you! It’s running on the InStyle magazine site too.

I had the most amazing experience on this project and I’m so grateful for the opportunity! Thanks for letting me take you along on my adventure!


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InStyle Magazine article woman red hairstyle
Suzy Mighell

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    1. Betsie,
      Thank you! It was fun! A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, for sure! Thanks for letting me share it with you!
      xoxo Suzy

  1. Congratulations Suzy!! That is so exciting!! Your new do looks beautiful and your video is fun and inspiring. I’m truly so very happy for you. What a treat!!!

    1. Kay,
      So kind of you! Thank you! It was really special! You’re so sweet to share my joy!
      xoxo Suzy

    1. Shannon,
      Thank you! It was pretty crazy and amazing! A once-in-a-lifetime experience, I’m sure!
      Thank you for your sweet words!
      xoxo Suzy

  2. Wow! What an affirmation for your empty nest journey! Fab looks and I know every reader is proud of you!

    1. Jeanell,
      That is so kind of you to say! Thank you! It was an amazing day, for sure! Thanks for taking the time to leave me such a kind comment!
      xoxo Suzy

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